Sammy Davis, Jr is singing Jingle Bells in my kitchen right now. I have a steamy cup of coffee next to me, my babies are napping, there is snow on the ground. I would say that's a pretty good start to the week. I have chosen to ignore the fact that my week started at 5:42 this morning, rather than the well established 7:15 that is our norm. The coffee is kind of helping.
That's sort of my daily exercise. There have been times in life where I have allowed myself to be the victim... in the big and the small, the "it's not fair" mentality has seeped into my being and I walk around feeling sorry for myself and thinking everyone else should have just as much pity on my plight.
One of the greatest things about marrying Nick (there really are so many) was his encouragement - sometimes gently, and sometimes with a little tough love - to turn that mindset around. If there are sufferings (and there will be), offer them up, and God will use them for good. But don't focus on them, because life is so full of goodness, of love, of blessings. Sometimes the greatest of all come from those sufferings. They make us more like our Father, and they create within us a greater capacity to experience true joy.
I guess that's why I blog. Sometimes it just helps me to turn my focus back onto the abundant blessings that fill up my day. Sometimes it is something big, like my mom watching my kids for the day so I can escape get out for a little bit. But mostly it's the small stuff - like Lute spontaneously declaring his undying love for me, or a big, out the blue, bear hug from Eddie. It's cups of hot coffee that I don't have to reheat, or someone else doing the dishes, or Nick coming home early from work, or kind words from a stranger at the grocery store.
And there is no greater time of joy in history or in my year, than in the next five weeks. Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, the new year... all holding so much possibility, redemption, love, quiet, peace. I hope the same for all of you.